|Medicine Bow Mountains|
|Elevation||12,951 ft (3,947 m)|
|Length||100 mi (160 km)|
|States||Colorado and Wyoming|
|Parent range||Rocky Mountains|
The Medicine Bow Mountains are a mountain range in the Rocky Mountains that extend for 100-mile (160 km) from northern Colorado into southern Wyoming. The northern extent of this range is the sub-range the Snowy Range. From the northern end of Colorado's Never Summer Mountains, the Medicine Bow mountains extend north from Cameron Pass along the border between Larimer and Jackson counties in Colorado and northward into south central Wyoming. In Wyoming, the range sits west of Laramie, in Albany and Carbon counties to the route of the Union Pacific Railroad and U.S. Interstate 80. The mountains often serve as a symbol for the city of Laramie. The range is home to Snowy Range Ski Area.
The highest peak in the range is Clark Peak (12,960 feet (3,950 m)), located in Rawah Wilderness and is along the southern end of the range in Northern Colorado. Much of the range is located within the Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming. The highest peak on the Wyoming side is Medicine Bow Peak (12,013 feet (3,662 m)). The range is drained along the western flank by the Michigan and Canadian rivers, tributaries of the North Platte in North Park. On its eastern flank it is drained by the Laramie River, another tributary of the North Platte.
The Medicine Bow Mountains resulted from continental compression during the Laramide Orogeny. Beginning about 70 million years ago, the Rockies began uplifting along thrust faults that broke up the Precambrian granite of Earth's crust. By 50 million years ago, all of Wyoming's major mountain ranges were elevated and the major basins defined. Rocks exposed along the flanks and peaks of the Medicine Bow Mountains span the Precambrian to modern, with the peaks composed of 2.4-2.0 billion year old Medicine Peak Quartzite. This rock was once a shallow marine sand deposit that has since been compressed and heated during burial, forming the metamorphic rock, quartzite. What may be traces of multicellular animals are preserved in this rock, making it of particular interest to paleontologists.
The Cheyenne belt, the 1.78–1.74 billion year old suture between the Wyoming craton and the Yavapai province that formed as North America was assembled, is exposed in the Medicine Bow Mountains.
Wildlife abounds in these mountains, with mule deer, elk, moose, black bear, mountain lions, coyotes, marmots, pika, Richardson's ground squirrels, bobcats, and lynx as well as a tremendous variety of birds. Brook and rainbow trout as well as grayling and golden trout are found in the streams. A disjunct population of arctic fairy shrimp (Brachinecta paludosa) has been documented in a few lakes in the northern part of the range.
Since 1987, the Glacier Lakes area of the Snowy Range has been home to the Glacier Lakes Ecosystem Experiments Site (GLEES), a field unit of the Rocky Mountain Research Station, United States Forest Service.Areas of scientific inquiry at the site include atmospheric pollutant deposition, forest carbon and water vapor cycling, effect of insect outbreaks, and alpine lake and stream hydrology. The site is 642 ha in extent and hosts facilities for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP), the National Dry Deposition Network (NDDN) and AmeriFlux (Eddy covariance).
This mountain range is also home to some of the remains of a Douglas DC-4 aircraft, operated as United Airlines Flight 409. The aircraft crashed into Medicine Bow Peak on October 6, 1955, killing all 66 people on board.
The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range and the largest mountain system in North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch 3,000 mi (4,800 km) in straight-line distance from the northernmost part of western Canada, to New Mexico in southwestern United States. Depending on differing definitions between Canada and the United States, its northern terminus is located either in northern British Columbia's Terminal Range south of the Liard River and east of the Trench, or in the northeastern foothills of the Brooks Range/British Mountains that face the Beaufort Sea coasts between the Canning River and the Firth River across the Alaska-Yukon border. Its southernmost point is near the Albuquerque area adjacent to the Rio Grande Basin and north of the Sandia–Manzano Mountain Range. Being the easternmost portion of the North American Cordillera, the Rockies are distinct from the tectonically younger Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada, which both lie farther to its west.
The Sangre de Cristo Range is a mountain range of the Rocky Mountains in southern Colorado in the United States, running north and south along the east side of the Rio Grande Rift. The mountains extend southeast from Poncha Pass for about 75 mi (121 km) through south-central Colorado to La Veta Pass, approximately 20 mi (32 km) west of Walsenburg, and form a high ridge separating the San Luis Valley on the west from the watershed of the Arkansas River on the east. The Sangre de Cristo Range rises over 7,000 ft (2,100 m) above the valleys and plains to the west and northeast.
Laramie is a city in and the county seat of Albany County, Wyoming, United States. The population was estimated 32,711 in 2019, making it the third-largest city in Wyoming after Cheyenne and Casper. Located on the Laramie River in southeastern Wyoming, the city is north west of Cheyenne, at the junction of Interstate 80 and U.S. Route 287.
The Front Range is a mountain range of the Southern Rocky Mountains of North America located in the central portion of the U.S. State of Colorado, and southeastern portion of the U.S. State of Wyoming. It is the first mountain range encountered as one goes westbound along the 40th parallel north across the Great Plains of North America.
The North Platte River is a major tributary of the Platte River and is approximately 716 miles (1,152 km) long, counting its many curves. In a straight line, it travels about 550 miles (890 km), along its course through the U.S. states of Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska.
The Laramie Mountains are a range of moderately high peaks on the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains in the U.S states of Wyoming and Colorado. The range is the northernmost extension of the line of the ranges along the eastern side of the Rockies, and in particular of the higher peaks of the Front Range directly to the south. North of the range, the gap between the Laramie range and the Bighorn Mountains provided the route for historical trails, such as the Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail, and the Pony Express.
The Wind River Range, is a mountain range of the Rocky Mountains in western Wyoming in the United States. The range runs roughly NW–SE for approximately 100 mi (160 km). The Continental Divide follows the crest of the range and includes Gannett Peak, which at 13,802 ft (4,207 m), is the highest peak in Wyoming; and also Fremont Peak at 13,750 ft (4,191 m), the third highest peak in Wyoming. There are more than 40 other named peaks in excess of 12,999 ft (3,962 m). With the exception of the Grand Teton in the Teton Range, the next 19 highest peaks in Wyoming after Gannett are also in the Winds.
The Laramie River is a tributary of the North Platte River, approximately 280 miles (450 km) long, in the U.S. states of Colorado and Wyoming. The river was named for Jacques La Ramie, a fur trapper who visited the area in the early 19th century. Laramie County, Wyoming, the city of Laramie, and other geographical entities in the region have "Laramie" in their names.
The Uinta Mountains are an east-west trending chain of mountains in northeastern Utah extending slightly into southern Wyoming in the United States. As a subrange of the Rocky Mountains, they are unusual for being the highest range in the contiguous United States running east to west, and lie approximately 100 miles (160 km) east of Salt Lake City. The range has peaks ranging from 11,000 to 13,528 feet, with the highest point being Kings Peak, also the highest point in Utah. The Mirror Lake Highway crosses the western half of the Uintas on its way to Wyoming.
Maligne Lake is a lake in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. The lake is famed for the colour of its azure water, the surrounding peaks, the three glaciers visible from the lake, and Spirit Island, a frequently and very famously photographed islet. The lake is located 44 km (27 mi) south of Jasper town, and is accessible by motor vehicle, including shuttle buses from Jasper. Boat tours run to Spirit Island in the spring to autumn season. The 44 km Skyline Trail, Jasper's most popular, highest and above treeline, multi-day hike, begins at Maligne Lake and finishes near the town of Jasper. Other popular day hikes include the Opal Hills and Bald Hills loops. Winter activities include cross-country skiing and snowboarding.
The Never Summer Mountains are a mountain range in the Rocky Mountains in north central Colorado in the United States consisting of seventeen named peaks. The range is located along the northwest border of Rocky Mountain National Park, forming the continental divide between the headwaters of the Colorado River in Rocky Mountain National Park to the local-east and the upper basin of the North Platte River to the local-west; the continental divide makes a loop in these mountains. The range is small and tall, covering only 25 sq mi (65 km2) with a north-south length of 10 mi (16 km) while rising to over 12,000 ft (3,700 m) at over ten distinct peaks. The range straddles the Jackson-Grand county line for most of its length, and stretches into Jackson and Larimer county at its northern end. A panoramic view of the range is available from sections of Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. One of the northernmost peaks, Nokhu Crags, is prominently visible from the west side of Cameron Pass.
The Laramie Plains is an arid highland at an elevation of approx. 8,000 feet (2,400 m) in south central Wyoming in the United States. The plains extend along the upper basin of the Laramie River on the east side of the Medicine Bow Range. The city of Laramie is the largest community in the valley. The plains are separated from the Great Plains to the east by the Laramie Mountains, a spur of the Front Range that extends northward from Larimer County, Colorado west of Cheyenne. The high altitude of the region makes for a cold climate and a relatively short growing season. Unsuitable to most cultivation, the plains have historically been used for livestock raising, primarily of sheep and cattle.
United Airlines Flight 409 was a scheduled flight which originated in New York, New York. The final flight destination was San Francisco, California, with stops in Chicago, Denver and Salt Lake City. The aircraft operating the service, a Douglas DC-4 propliner, registration N30062, crashed into Medicine Bow Peak, near Laramie, Wyoming, on October 6, 1955, killing all 66 people on board. The victims included five female members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and military personnel. At the time, this was the deadliest airline crash in the history of American commercial aviation. Another 66 lives had been lost earlier that year in the March 22 crash in Hawaii of a United States Navy Douglas R6D-1 Liftmaster military transport aircraft, and 66 had also died in the mid-air collision of two United States Air Force C-119G Flying Boxcars over West Germany on August 11, placing the three crashes in a three-way tie as the deadliest aviation incidents in 1955.
The Bighorn National Forest is a U.S. National Forest located in northern Wyoming, United States and consists of over 1.1 million acres (4,500 km²). Created as a US Forest Reserve in 1897, it is one of the oldest government-protected forest lands in the U.S. The forest is well east of the continental divide and extends from the Montana border for a distance of 80 miles (130 km) along the spine of the Bighorn Mountains, an outlying mountain range separated from the rest of the Rocky Mountains by Bighorn Basin. Elevations range from 5,000 feet along the sagebrush and grass-covered lowlands at the foot of the mountains, to 13,189 feet on top of Cloud Peak, the highest point in the Bighorn Mountains. Around 99% of the land is above 1,500 metres (4,900 ft). The forest is named after the Bighorn River, which is partially fed by streams found in the forest. Streams in the range are fed primarily by snowmelt and snowmelt mixed with driving rainfall.
Medicine Bow–Routt National Forest is the official title to a U.S. Forest Service managed area extending over 2,222,313 acres (8,993.38 km2) in the states of Wyoming and Colorado, United States. What were once three separate areas, Medicine Bow National Forest, Routt National Forest, and Thunder Basin National Grassland were administratively combined in 1995 due to similarity of the resources, proximity to each other and for administrative purposes.
The geography of the U.S. State of Colorado is diverse, encompassing both rugged mountainous terrain, vast plains, desert lands, desert canyons, and mesas. In 1861, the United States Congress defined the boundaries of the new Territory of Colorado exclusively by lines of latitude and longitude, stretching from 37°N to 41°N latitude, and from 102°02'48"W to 109°02'48"W longitude. Starting in 1868, official surveys demarcated the boundaries, deviating from the parallels and meridians in several places. Later surveys attempted to correct some of these mistakes but in 1925 the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that the earlier demarcation was the official boundary. The borders of Colorado are now officially defined by 697 boundary markers connected by straight boundary lines. Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah are the only states that have their borders defined solely by straight boundary lines with no natural features. The southwest corner of Colorado is the Four Corners Monument at 36°59'56"N, 109°2'43"W. This is the only place in the United States where four states meet: Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah.
Medicine Bow Peak is the highest peak in the Snowy Range, a part of the Medicine Bow Mountains, about 35 miles (56 km) west of Laramie, Wyoming. It lies within Medicine Bow National Forest and is the highest point in southern Wyoming. The summit lies in extreme western Albany County, but the mountain's lower reaches stretch westward into eastern Carbon County. The summit is 12,018 feet high and is visible from Snowy Range Pass, elevation 10,847 ft, on Wyoming Highway 130, a Wyoming Scenic Byway. The most commonly used trail to the peak is a four-mile hike featuring switch-backs and a great deal of loose rock. The trails to the peak are usually open from early June to mid October.
Prehistory of Colorado provides an overview of the activities that occurred prior to Colorado's recorded history. Colorado experienced cataclysmic geological events over billions of years, which shaped the land and resulted in diverse ecosystems. The ecosystems included several ice ages, tropical oceans, and a massive volcanic eruption. Then, ancient layers of earth rose to become the Rocky Mountains.
The Overland Trail was a stagecoach and wagon trail in the American West during the 19th century. While portions of the route had been used by explorers and trappers since the 1820s, the Overland Trail was most heavily used in the 1860s as a route alternative to the Oregon, California, and Mormon trails through central Wyoming. The Overland Trail was famously used by the Overland Stage Company owned by Ben Holladay to run mail and passengers to Salt Lake City, Utah, via stagecoaches in the early 1860s. Starting from Atchison, Kansas, the trail descended into Colorado before looping back up to southern Wyoming and rejoining the Oregon Trail at Fort Bridger. The stage line operated until 1869 when the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad eliminated the need for mail service via Thais' stagecoach.
The ecology of the Rocky Mountains is diverse due to the effects of a variety of environmental factors. The Rocky Mountains are the major mountain range in western North America, running from the far north of British Columbia in Canada to New Mexico in the southwestern United States, climbing from the Great Plains at or below 1,800 feet (550 m) to peaks of over 14,000 feet (4,300 m). Temperature and rainfall varies greatly also and thus the Rockies are home to a mixture of habitats including the alpine, subalpine and boreal habitats of the Northern Rocky Mountains in British Columbia and Alberta, the coniferous forests of Montana and Idaho, the wetlands and prairie where the Rockies meet the plains, a different mix of conifers on the Yellowstone Plateau in Wyoming and in the high Rockies of Colorado and New Mexico, and finally the alpine tundra of the highest elevations.
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